Mommie Mia!

Did you know that in the Czech Republic a woman can get up to three years off of work when she has a baby? That’s right,THREE YEARS. And when those three years are up, she can go back to work. Oh, and she is getting a portion of her salary while she is away (depending on her job). At first thought the idea sounds great. How liberal! How pro woman and pro family! But on second glance?I have spent the last two years working at a pre school in this country and that has opened my eyes to a few of the flaws of this three-year off system. 

Women in this country of all ages, social standing and backgrounds take advantage of this system. Have a baby! And when those three years are up, just have another! A woman in the Czech Republic could feasibly never have to work a day in her life. After all, it isn’t her responsibility to financially care for her children and provide for them – it’s a man’s job. Why should she have to get a job when she could be at home with her kids doing nothing? Most women don’t put their kids in school until after they are three. The ones that do send their precious babies to school keep them out so many days that it hardly matters if they go or not. Little girls learn very early here how to manipulate men to get what they want. And they are learning from mommy. They are also learning that women don’t need to work. (barf)

The small percentage of women who do chose to go back to work are so behind that they usually quit. I had one student who was back from baby leave after three years who had no clue what was going on in the office. She was lost. She complained about missing her toddler. I felt bad for the person who had been doing her job for the past three years and got booted. 

Women in this country are expected to be at home with their “baby” (which they call their kids well into their college years) as long as possible. Women who go back to work are looked down on and made to feel guilty; like they are lesser mothers because they are working. And to remind all of you Americans reading this, we are talking about going back to work after three years. YEARS. Not six months.

Which brings me to the biggest issue I have with the whole system – the kids. Kids in this country spend their first three years at home with mom. And I mean that almost literally. I have had more than one new kid at school who has never been in a school, or a play group or even out without his mommy and is dropped off for the first day of school terrified of being without mom. Some of them still in diapers. How is this a good thing? So many children in this country are spoiled, and anti social because of their attachment to mom. Both little boys and girls are coddled – not expected to put on their own shoes, or hats or even feed themselves. that’s what women mom is for.

But I see the other side of the “let’s set the women’s movement back 50 years” issue. I get to see the absolute sense of triumph a kid feels when she learns to put on her own shoes without help. I get to see little kids feel confident and happy going to school and making friends. I don’t care if it makes mom feel bad. Holding a kid back so YOU feel better is selfish. And so is sheltering and coddling a kid for three years.

The Czech system needs to be changed. There is no longer any need for these crazy “incentives” for procreation. Hell, just take a walk around Prague and count the babies and pregnant women and you’ll see what I mean. The system is unfair to children, women, and the companies that employ these women. Not to mention it promotes the special brand of sexism that only Czechs do oh so well.

A woman’s place is at home with babies. If she gets out, just knock her up again. But you’ll have to take time off from that mistress you have out on the cottage in the nature.

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